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States of BEING Edition

Top headlines from the Association of Alternative Newsmedia


In Japanese, the word ‘emoji’ literally translates to the above title. Another surprising fact, as related by our cheesy friends at Wisconsin Gazette: There is a single, nonprofit corporation tasked with deciding which emojis make it into our electronic lives. The Unicode Consortium performs various functions associated with maintaining a standardized set of characters with which we text our BFFs. That set is known as the Unicode Standard. (Also the name of our now-defunct rockabilly/throat singing band.) There were just 176 characters when it began; today, there are 136,690.

The process to becoming a grinning screen turd is far longer and more complex than one might expect. As WG reported, adding a dumpling emoji “took almost two years, including research, many meetings and a written, illustrated proposal that reads a bit like an academic paper, complete with research on dumpling history and popularity.” It’s not easy to convince the Unicode Emoji Subcommittee, a small group of “older, white male engineers,” most of whom work for big tech companies, that an emoji is worthy of inclusion. But, as the smiling poop emoji indicates, it’s not impossible.

Chalk another one up to the Trump Era Congressional Republican bloodletting: South Carolina’s Trey Gowdy announced Jan. 31 that he would not seek reelection. As those smiling faces at Charleston City Paper were quick to point out, the news was met with well wishes from near and afar. They couldn’t escape the sinking feeling something was missing, though. “But you know what went under-examined in all the tweets, stories and press releases?” asked CCP’s Sam Spence on Feb. 1. “Trey Gowdy’s hair’s departure from politics.”\

Just as Spence, who also wrote the tasty morsel, “Trey Clips,” was frantically assembling binders full of coifs, The Daily Show beat him to the quiff with an amazing grid of 16 distinctly different looks Gowdy had rocked over the years. (Their favorite: “The Benghazi Blowout.”) Not to be completely scooped, Spence unearthed a 17th: the “Windy Gap Look.” Trés chic!

Stoners rejoiced when the grand state of Nevada legalized marijuana, rushing to the closest dispensary and buying up $3 million worth of smokables and edibles in the first four days of legal sales, according to Reno News & Review. But not all in the Silver State were happy with this turn of events, not even considering the 500K of tax dollars that poured into the state budget. So some counties are debating whether to opt out of legal sales of the demon weed. Suffice it to say, we won’t be vacationing wherever that is. (Please don’t be Vegas, please don’t be Vegas. Hear me, O Clark County!)

Displeased with the teetotaler crowd’s gall, some in the Sagebrush State are floating plans to not-so-gently persuade everyone to keep the green flowing: Opt out of legal marijuana and you also opt out of tax proceeds from its sale. Another interesting point RN&R made: If taxes make legal marijuana unaffordable, the black market will persist.

Here in Altweekly World, we pride ourselves of staying right on the top of the razor’s edge. We also loved mixed metaphors. Those cool cats at Inland 360, which straddles the Gem and Evergreen States, have uncovered some new trends we’re just dying to try. First up: Chinning. This jewel of a trend involves squishing one’s head into their neck to form the biggest, meatiest double-chin possible, snapping a pic and posting it online for all the world to see. #BestGrindrProfileEver! Next and most delightfully morbid: Dostadning. This Swedish word literally translates to “death cleaning,” or getting rid of unnecessary possessions ’cause, as I360 writes, “There’s no U-Haul to heaven.” There isn’t one to the other place either, Nana.

The last, and most awesome yet completely confusing if you don’t Internet, is the Milkshake Duck. This lovely term refers to people embracing someone/something new with incredible fervor then abandoning it with equal haste when it turns out that the person is a terrible being who sympathizes with Nazis or, worse, likes 98 Degrees. Oxford Dictionary apparently shortlisted “milkshake duck” as one of its 2017 words of the year. Hope that duck doesn’t turn out to be racist. Lookin’ at you, Atticus.

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